Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap: The truth is out there
Hey there, true believers! Sorry we didn’t have a recap up last week. That episode mostly concluded our time in the '30s. The S.H.I.E.L.D. team was stuck between trying to protect Wilfred Malick so he could go on to fund HYDRA (which would sufficiently terrify the U.S. government into founding S.H.I.E.L.D.) and trying to destroy their greatest enemy before it ever got started. Daisy was on the latter team and urged Deke to “take the shot” when he had the chance, but Mack ultimately won out and reminded Deke who’s in charge. Unfortunately, in the race to follow the Chronicoms on their next time jump, the team accidentally left Enoch behind in the past. Who knows if or when we’ll see him again (though every time I’ve thought that in the past he’s made a comeback), but it’s so intriguing that our last glimpse of Enoch is Koenig asking him about robotics. Maybe the modern-day Koenigs really were LMDs after all…?
So now it’s time for the next stage on our time-hopping journey through this final season. The S.H.I.E.L.D. ship materializes in the ‘50s this time, right near Area 51, so the title card evokes classic sci-fi instead of how the ‘30s episodes evoked noir. Naturally, the first stop they make is a classic ‘50s diner, where they overhear a white federal agent being loud and arrogant. They decide to kidnap and interrogate him to see if he knows about the Chronicoms’ plans. As befits his time and place, he assumes they’re all communists.
S.H.I.E.L.D. soon ascertains that some Chronicoms have infiltrated the early version of NASA in order to take control of an experimental new weapon. To root them out, Simmons goes undercover as Peggy Carter, and she and Coulson start interrogating the scientists to provoke emotional responses. Chronicoms, like replicants from Blade Runner, can't emote the way normal humans do. To complete the reference, Coulson even directly asks the famous Blade Runner prompt about the turtle in the desert: “The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't, not without your help. But you're not helping.” But he uses it on a normal human woman who screams at him, and Coulson soon finds himself arrested by none other than Daniel Sousa.
That’s right: As EW previously reported, the Agent Carter character makes his Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debut this episode. Unfortunately for Simmons, she couldn’t have chosen a worse person to try her Peggy Carter impression on. She and Coulson find themselves sitting in a holding cell in no time.
Eventually, the Chronicoms launch their attack. As Coulson battles with one robot at the base, Yo-Yo (who’s still struggling with her superspeed) and May (who’s still struggling with her emotions) take on a female Chronicom right near the testing site. Despite their personal struggles, the two eventually manage to overcome their opponent, creating an electromagnetic wave that short-circuits every robot in the vicinity — including Coulson!
Sousa is a fun addition to the ensemble. It’ll be interesting to see if he has a change of heart about the S.H.I.E.L.D. team next week (though of course, right now he thinks he’s the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in this situation).